Many expected the Arizona Diamondbacks to build on their successful 2017 campaign this season. A 21-8 start to the year was a promising note but everything quickly came back to earth once May rolled in. Paul Goldschmidt’s slow start to the season hurt an inconsistent offense that either scored runs in bunches or didn’t cross the plate at all. The pitching did its part, even with injuries to Taijuan Walker and Robbie Ray, but it couldn’t make up for the offensive struggles.
Even during the inconsistency, the Diamondbacks have had one player that has carried the team on his back since Opening Day, and it’s not who most people would think of right away. Outfielder David Peralta has been the difference in Arizona’s place in the standings this late in the season, and the club has a lot to thank him for during the rough times.
Peralta is 12th in the league in hitting at .306 and fourth among NL outfielders. His .545 batting average in August is the best in all of baseball and he also leads the league in the second half with a .426 clip. Peralta was in the Top 10 in hitting in 2015 with a .312 average but the offensive numbers have gone up this season in the home run and RBI department.
Peralta has already passed his career high in long balls from 2015 when he hit 17. His 19 home runs are second on the team and his 58 RBI are 18 short of his career best, also set in 2015. Even with some shoulder pain that occurred at the end of July Peralta hasn’t stopped hitting. His heroics on August 6 against the NL East-leading Philadelphia Phillies helped the Diamondbacks erase a 2-0 deficit heading into the bottom of the ninth and gave them a much-needed win five innings later on his first career walk-off home run.